Thursday, October 23, 2008

Has Creativity Been Transformed?

Has creativity declined over the past couple of years? As we as a human race get older do we lose our creative edge? John Phillip Sousa was one of the first to preach his worries for the new technology wave. He preached that the invention of the voice box would keep everyone from expressing themselves in public. Lawrence Lessig was the next to preach of the change from read-write to read-only culture. What he meant was how our society started off looking listening to a song and then just adding to it. Nowadays there are many laws that prohibit you from adding just the smallest beat to a song without you getting sued. Over time I wouldn’t say that creativity has been discouraged but transformed. For instance, Bunnie Huang was able to reverse engineer an Xbox just for fun. However if he had made his knowledge public in a way that it would cripple Microsoft (the makers of the Xbox) he would have been prosecuted.

Our most recent videos are two more examples of how creativity has transformed through the ages. The first video we watched was of a beat boxer. It primarily involves the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, voice, and more (Wikipedia dictionary). Even though these sounds have been around for awhile, it wasn’t until recent years that artists have been able to add all these elements and turn them into a performance.

The next video presented the question: do schools kill creativity? Through our schooling we have been taught to be well trained and book smart, but will these skills help us out in the real world. When we were younger our creative “wingspan” was endless. We would have the tendency to create make believe games and to guess when we didn’t know the answer. Over time people have become quieter and when asked a question that they didn’t know, they simply would not reply. Sir Ken Robinson then gets into his idea of “education inflation.” In the early days you only went to college if you were at the top of your class. Now it seems like there a school after High School for everyone. Robinson states that there will be more students graduating from college this year more than any other year in history. Has a college degree lost its meaning? Nowadays it seems like the elite are found at graduate, medical, law, or other professional school. If this metaphorical inflation continues will those professional schools end up becoming the norm? Will there a system of schooling after graduate school? Will having your PhD be not enough in the future? How can schools teach for the future if they don’t even know how life will be then?

Has creativity been transformed through the years? Has this new wave of technology been for the good of our society? I believe that any creativity is good for us.

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